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Traffic Listening Activity

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How’s the Traffic? What’s the Weather?

contributed by Rich Haynes, Fairfax (advanced-level teacher)

Purpose: Listening Practice, building vocabulary, community travel

Materials needed: PC or boom box

Preparation :

  • record several WTOP traffic updates
  • prepare handouts to match your lesson plan. Ideas include: posting an area map, vocabulary sheet, sheet listing the street names that are announced in the traffic reports.

How To:

Before listening to the recorded traffic reports, look at a map of the area, particularly the areas mentioned on the recordings. Brainstorm traffic-related vocabulary that the students may already know, write these on the board. If you’ve prepared a vocabulary sheet, ask students to add any new words contributed by them. When ready, tell the students that they will hear an actual traffic report.

Ask them to listen for:

  1. vocabulary words that you just discussed
  2. familiar street names
  3. traffic results.

Do these one at a time. The students shouldn’t focus on all three items at one time. Play the recordings at normal speed and then slow the rate of speech to help students pick up vocabulary more easily. Play only a few sentences at a time and only the sentences that are pertinent to your lesson. Try this activity using recorded weather reports!

Use your imagine to tweak the instructions to meet your students’ needs.

(Photo by ElvertBarnes)